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Archive for September 9th, 2020

Dampy Brar selected 2020 Willie O’Ree Community Hero Award


Dampry Brar (courtesy

EDMONTON (Sept. 8, 2020) – Dampy Brar (Apna Hockey) is the recipient of the 2019-20 Willie O’Ree Community Hero Award, given “to an individual who – through the sport of hockey – has positively impacted his or her community, culture or society.”


Fans submit candidates for the Willie O’Ree Community Hero Award, with Willie O’Ree – in consultation with the NHL – narrowing the field to three finalists. The public then votes for the winner at


Brar, alongside Lali Toor, co-founded Apna Hockey, an initiative that provides a network and support for South Asian hockey players. A former professional hockey player himself, playing in both the International Hockey League and the West Coast Hockey League, Brar works tirelessly to mentor and teach youth hockey, including coaching his own children’s teams. Brar was the first child on both sides of his family to be born outside of India and continues to play a major role in bringing hockey to his family’s native country. He worked with Hayley Wickenheiser and the Wickfest team in 2018 to bring the first-ever women’s hockey team to Canada from Leh Ladakh, India, where he travelled with the team to provide mentorship and support as an advocate for women’s hockey. Brar revisited Leh Ladakh in 2019 to watch the women’s team and provide them the support that female hockey players in India often do not receive. During that time, he also made a trip to a college in Punjab, India to mentor students of a roller hockey program.


The Willie O’Ree Community Hero Award honors former NHL forward Willie O’Ree, who on Jan. 18, 1958, became the first black player to compete in the League. O’Ree, who lost sight in his right eye at a young age, went on to play professional hockey for 21 years. His perseverance is unrivaled, and his impact on the game and the lives of young players still is felt today. For more than two decades, O’Ree has served as the NHL’s Diversity Ambassador, traveling across North America to schools and hockey programs to share his story and experiences as well as to promote messages of inclusion, dedication and confidence. O’Ree has used hockey as a platform to build character and teach life skills and has used his influence to foster positive values through the sport.


Other finalists for this year’s honor were Alexandria Briggs-Blake (Tucker Road Ducks Hockey) and John Haferman (Columbus Ice Hockey Club).


For more about the Willie O’Ree Community Hero Award, including past winners, click here.



Senators’ forward Bobby Ryan wins 2020 Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy

Bobby Ryan, Ottawa Senators forward, 2017 photo By Michael Miller - Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, https

EDMONTON (Sept. 7, 2020) – Ottawa Senators forward Bobby Ryan is the 2019-20 recipient of the Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy, awarded annually to the NHL player who “best exemplifies the qualities of perseverance, sportsmanship, and dedication to hockey.” The award was presented by the Professional Hockey Writers Association (PHWA) to honor the late Bill Masterton, a player for the Minnesota North Stars who exhibited those qualities. Masterton died on Jan. 15, 1968, as a result of an on-ice injury.


Ryan, 33, left the Senators to enter the NHL/NHLPA player assistance program on Nov. 20, 2019. He returned to practice with the team in early February and pledged to share his story publicly in an effort to help and inspire others facing similar challenges. In his first home game after returning to the lineup Ryan tallied a hat trick, was named the game’s First Star and received multiple standing ovations in a 5-2 win over Vancouver on Feb. 27. “Because I’ve been open and candid about that, I think people have looked at me and said, ‘There’s a very relatable person,’” Ryan told the Ottawa Sun. “Through my family stuff and now with alcohol issues, I’ve never hid from it and I’ve always said, if I’m going to do this, I’m going to have to do it in the public eye and I’m going to have to be candid with it.”


A $2,500 grant from the PHWA is awarded annually to the Bill Masterton Scholarship Fund, based in Bloomington, Minn., in the name of the Masterton Trophy winner.


Other finalists for this year’s honor were Stephen Johns of the Dallas Stars and Oskar Lindblom of the Philadelphia Flyers.


For more on the Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy, including a list of past winners, click here.




NHL gives update Statement on COVID-19 Testing Results

NEW YORK (Sept. 7, 2020) – The National Hockey League today released the following statement on COVID-19 testing results:


The NHL completed the sixth week of its Phase 4 Return to Play with no positive test results for COVID-19 among the 2,534 tests administered.

Testing was administered on a daily basis to all members of the Clubs’ 52-member travelling parties, including Players, during the period from August 30 through September 5.

The NHL will continue to provide regular updates on COVID-19 testing results.

The League will not be providing information on the identity of any individuals or Clubs.





Minnesota Wild defenseman Matt Dumba wins 2020 King Clancy Memorial Trophy

Matt Dumba Minnesota Wild 2015 photo By Lindsay A. Mogle of the AHL - LAM_8082, CC BY 2.0, https

EDMONTON (Sept. 6, 2020) – Minnesota Wild defenseman Matt Dumba is the 2019-20 recipient of the King Clancy Memorial Trophy, awarded for “leadership on and off the ice and who has made a noteworthy humanitarian contribution to his community.” Dumba will receive a $25,000 donation from the National Hockey League Foundation to benefit a charity or charities of his choice.


Each NHL team nominated a player for the King Clancy Memorial Trophy, with the three finalists and winner chosen by a committee of senior NHL executives led by Commissioner Gary Bettman and Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly.


The selection committee applies the following criteria in determining the finalists and winner:


* Clear and measurable positive impact on the community

* Investment of time and resources

* Commitment to a particular cause or community

* Commitment to the League’s community initiatives

* Creativity of programming

* Use of influence; engagement of others


In response to social unrest across North America and recent stories about racism in hockey, Dumba – along with several other current and former NHL players – co-founded the Hockey Diversity Alliance, which aims to eradicate systemic racism and intolerance in hockey. Dumba, who delivered a powerful message on the subject during the 2020 Stanley Cup Qualifiers, also spearheaded the Rebuild Minnesota initiative to assist Minneapolis businesses impacted by riots and protests in the wake of the murder of George Floyd. The fundraiser, which aims to raise $500,000, will donate all funds to Lake Street Council in Minnesota and ActionDignity in Canada. Dumba’s other efforts during the 2019-20 season included COVID-19 support to more than 60 families who are part of ACES (Athletes Committed to Educating Students), a surprise Hockey Fights Cancer tribute for a close family friend and a donation to Australia wildfire relief efforts.


Other finalists for this year’s honor were Henrik Lundqvist of the New York Rangers and P.K. Subban of the New Jersey Devils. Both receive a $5,000 donation from the National Hockey League Foundation to benefit a charity or charities of their choice.


For a list of past King Clancy Memorial Trophy winners, click here.



NHL announces 2020 Conference Finals Schedule

NEW YORK (Sept. 6, 2020) – The National Hockey League today announced the dates, starting times and national television coverage for the 2020 Conference Finals, which begin today. The Eastern Conference Final features the Tampa Bay Lightning against the New York Islanders. The Western Conference Final features the Vegas Golden Knights against the Dallas Stars.


All times listed are ET and subject to change.



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